Those who saw 42 this weekend should watch The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), a mild-mannered biopic in which Robinson played himself. There are more than a few similarities. Go to 23:00 for the scene in which Branch Rickey (Minor Watson) offers Robinson a job with the Dodgers, but only if he “has the strength not to fight back” — roughly the same scene happens in Act One of 42. Not line for line, but close enough.
(l.) Minor Watson as Branch Rickey and (r.) Jackie Robinson as himself in The Jackie Robinson Story.
Brian Helgeland‘s sports drama overperformed with $27 million. Presumably the HE community has some sort of verdict? Too simplistic, on-the-nose and old-fashioned? Or are you on the Marshall Fine side of the fence?
In Nikki Finke‘s 4th box-office update, posted late last night, she notes that audience composition was 48% male, 52% female, and 83% over-25 and 17% under-25. She also reports that 84% saw the film due to “subject matter.” (And the other 16% saw it for the special effects?) The funny part comes when Finke presumably asks a Warner Bros exec how “urban” the audience was, and the exec replies that “while we do not poll race breakdown, I can tell you we performed extremely well in all the large urban markets. But the highest grossing theaters were the country’s most commercial screens.” Are there any highly commercial screens that aren’t in urban-area markets?